For anyone eagerly anticipating the NFL schedule release, vaguely scheduled for some time this week, there’s a key detail to remember. The Redskins’ opponents have been set since the end of the 2013 season, and the home and away sites are determined as well. All we’re waiting on is the order of games, and which ones end up on Sunday afternoon, as opposed to one of the prime time slots.
Per the NFL’s annual schedule rotations, the Redskins play six division games (the Giants, Cowboys and Eagles each home and away), the NFC West (every three years, Washington plays all four teams in another NFC division, two home and two away) and the AFC South (every four years, Washington plays all four teams in an AFC division, two home and two away). Washington finished last in the NFC East in 2013, and gets to play the two last-place finishers from the NFC that aren’t already on the schedule — the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings.
At home, Washington plays Dallas, New York, Philadelphia, the St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans and the Bucs.
On the road, the Redskins face the Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts and Vikings.
There are quite a few familiar opponents on the schedule, beyond the division rivals. The Redskins and Bucs played in the 2003, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’09, ’10 and ’12 regular seasons, plus the playoffs in Jan. 2006. The Redskins and Bucs have played in the fourth week of the preseason each year since 2011, and are scheduled to do it again this year.
The Redskins and Rams played seven times between 2005 and 2012, and this will mark the fifth consecutive season the Vikings and Redskins meet in the regular season. The Cardinals, on the other hand, were a division rival for years but moved to the NFC West in 2002; the teams have played in the regular season just four times since then.
As for compelling matchups for potential prime-time games, the Super Bowl champion Seahawks come to FedEx this season for the first time since Jan. 6, 2013, the day Robert Griffin III hurt his knee in a playoff loss. The Eagles, new Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson’s former team, are a good bet for a night game. The Colts and quarterback Andrew Luck, drafted one spot before Griffin in 2012, are another possibility. So are the Rams, Washington’s trade partner in acquiring Griffin before the 2012 season, and the always-compelling 49ers.
Which games do you think will end up in prime time? The 16 games are shuffled in no particular order, and you can choose up to five:
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